Just in from Phil aboard Imerys Clean Energy
Position: 2nd / Distance to finish: 560 nm
“It is quite amazing to see how the class 40 fleet has now fanned out with skippers taking such wildly different strategies. After last night I’m pretty happy with settling into the front end of the middle group, particularly as the conditions are so variable – this gives me more options. It will be interesting to see how things play out with the Northern group – whether we will cross ahead. Also I am keeping a close eye on Carac in the extreme south… He has a habit of making these extreme routes work and then suddenly appearing from nowhere towards the finish!
“It’s good to be back in solo mode, and always forget how demanding life is onboard, when you have to make a sail change – everything is twice as physical as double handed sailing, but about 5 times more complicated! The major difference is having no-one to pass over to when you are dead tired and need to get some rest. And then falling into a 20 minute trance, rather than deep sleep, so you can wake up slightly less exhausted than when you lay down.
“One thing is for sure though, when you are solo racing, you are never alone – you have your competitors pushing you the whole time, and at the moment I can see around 5 boats, all within a few miles. Also no end of dolphin visits and have seen some gannets flying around having a close inspection of the boat. Currently I am just about to cross the shipping lanes so time to get back out there for my 28th consecutive watch of the day.” Phil